Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #207

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #207

…A.O. Campbell is not going to marry Maggie Lou until everything is in place – and that means everything; automobile, house and picket fence in Tallahassee…

Maggie Lou-001

As unceremoniously as possible, Alpha Omega Campbell and Maggie Lou Ferrell were wed on the 30th day of January 1918. It had been a foregone result of a relationship that had produced another Alpha Campbell, of the female variety, in the middle of August, the previous year. But it’s not like they are not in love, despite the production of their love child and the stigma involved surrounding such unions.

Laura Bell has been chagrined all the way along. She had insisted, even before their indiscretion, that A.O. marry her Maggie. They were both plenty old a year ago, when Maggie was nineteen going on twenty, before Laura’s Thanksgiving pleadings, but NO. When Doctor Alpha Omega Campbell makes up his mind, nothing is going to change it. He is not going to marry until everything is in place – and that means everything; automobile, house and picket fence in Tallahassee.

One must take into account that his decision was made after the reading of John Ferrell’s will. At 21 she will own more land and properties than anyone in Leon County. He had known how wealthy his wife-to-be will be, but ‘the time is not right’.

 But he does not do what is right in most everyone’s eyes. He should have married her the minute he determined that Maggie Lou was “with child”.

Lost in the shuffle is that his daughter Alpha, would have made John Ferrell a grandfather, had he survived his voyage back from his Scottish homeland. He had had the foresight to lay the groundwork for Maggie to have a comfortable life. Too bad he had to die in order for that to come about and he is typically, conveniently away from the fray of his causing.

But in fact, there is a solid foundation that will help to carry the newlyweds past their early inauspicious behavior. Their bonding goes way back, back when Ziggy-001the now doctor was playing with Ziggy’s medical bag and the then baby Maggie was the baby being cared for. On any level, neither can remember life without the regular presence of the other. The love they share is about fondness and stability; comforting to the bone, with an accent on forever.

Their home life is actually very warm, the picture of a couple that is thriving, without the cares of just scraping by, as is the case with their peers – if they had any. A.O. and Maggie are young, black (or some combination thereof), born of slaves (or some form of), and seriously well-to-do. Each of the previous items is an image which opposes the world in which they live and work. One must be reminded that, at this time, doctors are respected, but not always commensurately compensated for their efforts. Just as illegitimate female children rarely are heir to miniature empires.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Blue Shadow Delphiniums – Picket Fence Painting by Texas Flower Artist Nancy Medina

Episode #207


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #201

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #201

Chapter Eleven

BALANCE OF POWER

…Can’t we say that John Ferrell wasn’t of sound mind when he did this…

“You’re the lawyer in the family James! Can he do something like this?” Martha Ferrell Ferrell will-001has gotten over the shock of her husband’s untimely demise, turning her attention instead to his last will and testament. For her, it is a mystery novel, a work of fiction fraught with plot twists and turns, and a bitterly cruel ending.

“He did,” her son says flatly.

  “Can’t we say that he wasn’t of sound mind when he did this? Look at the crazy thing he did, going to Scotland in the middle of the goddamned war!” There is a lot of that G-D thing going around.

“Mother…  taking the Lord’s name in vain will not change anything. When she turns 21, Maggie Lou “Ferrell”, he clears his throat, “will officially own over 100 acres of Tallahassee.”

“People are calling him a hero, Mother. Cousin Matthew tells us they are thinking about naming a new huge rail-bridge after him.” Agnes is proud of her father, void of the tangible acridity.

“James Barrie can rot in a bog for all I care. He is the one who whined his way into making John feel guilty. ‘Our people are starving’, ‘we have no petrol for our motorcars’. Huh! I for one am glad he could not make the funeral… some silly play about a handmaid called Cinderella.”

Image result for a kiss for cinderella gif“When the war is over, he is going to bring A Kiss for Cinderella to the United States. I told him that I would find a theater for him. He even said I could be an “understudy”, he called it. If Cinderella falls ill, I could be the lead actress.”

“How silly would that be? You could make two of her I’m sure, but yes if Cinderella is single, you would be perfect for the part, 34 and without a man.” Martha’s dour mood turns vicious.

“Cyril (Odz) has been talking about the future quite a lot lately, I’ll have you know. Then you will be all alone, does that make you happy?”

“That is enough bickering!” A lawyer hears his fill of petty wrangling on a daily basis. “Maggie legally owns the land and that is the bottom line, though I wonder how he was able to keep the property a secret for all these years.”

“He was very good at secrets, wasn’t he? A black girl owning half of town,” She cannot let it go.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #201


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #199

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #199

…The day I penned a letter to my dearest John Ferrell, it was the first time I had experienced the helplessness of the war,..

“I am so inspired by John’s kindness that I myself feel twinges of guilt. I see the suffering, yet continue on with my flights of fancy.”

Escapism Artist Unknown

Escapism artist Unknown

“You cannot think that, Sir James… oh yes, Matthew. If not for you and others, who write of things no one else dare have will to ponder, society would go mad with reality. Time in the theaters is one of their few escapes. If one does not let the child in us out, it dies, leaving a hardened heart.”

“So well put, Judith, I would guess that it is you who writes the words.”

“And I take the pretty good pictures,” Harv jokingly injects.

“Please forgive me, Mister Pearson, my intentions are innocent. I suppose I react too favorably to having my pride stroked by careful hands, but I feel comforted, personal vindication, you see. The day I penned a letter to my dearest John Ferrell, it was the first time I had experienced the helplessness of the war, where position and influence are thrown out the window like yesterday’s table scraps, to be fought over like the starving dogs.”

J.M. Barrie relates a tale his wife likes to tell, “My Matthew had been smitten with disease of the lungs and there were no doctors who had medicine to treat him. Then, while traveling to London, as I do regularly, I was accosted by a gang of hopeless human beings, lusting after whatever they might relieve me of.” He grabs a straight wooden stick, with a persimmon block at the bottom from beside his chair. “It was my brassie that saved me from dreadful harm!”

He tells the story often, so frequently that his wife has her line well rehearsed, “And that is the only good use for those miserable clubs that I can see.”

As in the days preceding the assault on Verdun, no one can count on prolonged periods of peace. John Ferrell receives word that his ship is leaving a day early, with worries about increased submarine activity, even to the coast of Scotland. “Damned scavengers!” They bring a premature end to the time of his life, a month of riches he will carry forth to eternity.

  “Do not let them spoil these days, John Ferrell. Hold them fast, like the smell of heather in the Highlands; until we meet in a more peaceful place.” Long soulful hugs and hopes for tomorrow.

“We will be going, as well,” Harv decides. Their launch awaits a trip to Brest, plus there is strength in numbers. They will negotiate North Sea waters and head to the cargo ship, which is loaded with whatever export goods the Scots can muster.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Haar on the Forth by Alan Reed

Episode #199


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #192

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #192

…The Lord asks us to share our brothers’ burden. I need to take up the cause, stand shoulder to shoulder with my kinsmen,…

“What does your cousin say?” asks Martha Ferrell of her husband John, who reads a letter from Scotland intensely. It is dated 22 March, 1915, received the day before Thanksgiving same year.

“Oh, Martha, they’re suffering great hardship. Nearly everything is rationed, living off their potato plot, they are. Most of the grain they grow goes to the cattle; the rest must be submitted to the war effort.” As he reads Sir James M. Barrie’s tale of woe, waves of guilt wash against his spirit, remembering the happy days of his youth, playing with James. John’s own son is named after his relative left behind, after the Ferrells abandoned the  Isle clan for a new life in Florida. “He fears his son, Matthew, will be drafted into the British Army, though a recent bout of consumption may disqualify him from battle.

“‘How ironic; spared the horrors of war by a disabling disease.’”

 “Those are his very words, aren’t they?”  She recognizes the work of a writer, albeit far from his wispy ‘Peter Pan’. “I so love his letters, every one a masterpiece unto itself.”

  “I’ve been praying about the plight of our people. We are so blessed by the lord, insulated from adversity, bounties beyond deserving. I ask myself, ‘what can I do to support my homeland an ocean away?’ My answer is never the same.”

Scotland      “What if we take a collection of goods, you know, foodstuffs, clothing, anything the Panhandle can offer that will help them survive hostilities.”

“Yes, yes, and we can hire a ship out of Panama City to carry them to Perth. How I would love to see old James again!”

It was a splendid idea until mention of him going home to the Central Lowlands enters in the back door. “Must you go to Scotland? Why put yourself in harms way?”

The Lord asks us to share our brothers’ burden. I need to take up the cause, stand shoulder to shoulder with my kinsmen, making a difference in their community.” John Ferrell lacks only a kilt. “Please wire Dundee with the news of our plan. I am going to begin gathering the cargo, I think Herb Love will jump right in with both feet, if I know him and Jacques Francoise will mix up some medicines, maybe help Matthew with his tuberculosis. And every farmer in Leon and Gadsden County will surely contribute something. I know we can fill a small freighter.”


Alpha Omega M.D.

Episode #192


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #108

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #108

…Tossed onto the sprawling mud like a toy, fully three hundred yards from permanent water, at a staggering 20 degree angle, the River Queen boasts many survivors…

Aftermath-001

Father Ferrell had thought he would be on his own in his search for James and Abbey, alone in a strange city renowned for its crime and disease.

At least he will not be alone.

At least they are still alive.

Tossed onto the mud like a toy, fully three hundred yards from permanent water, at a staggering 20 degree angle, the River Queen boasts many survivors. But it is horribly out of place at its present semi-dry dock. It may take the spring flood waters to naturally return it to sufficient buoyancy.

Until then, James and Abigail wonder, how on earth rescuers will negotiate the swampy wild, especially considering the pockets of quasi-satisfied alligators; scavenging the dead fish and distressed wildlife. Those who chose a lifeboat that did not stay upright, meet the same repulsive fate. So distasteful is the scene, not even the biggest, toughest, manly man is able to stomach it. In fact, the crew has closed all exterior deck to passengers. They have food and water. A radio will be their contact with the outside world.

80 Days

“I know this isn’t how you expected your cruise on the Queen to end, but things may have turned out much worse,” relates Captain Phileas Longfellow. His foreknowledge of a spectacular rescue effort has him choosing his words carefully. He asks of already shaken cruisers, “How many of you have read the book, Around the World in Eighty Days?” About one-half of the seventy-five hands are raised. “Jules Verne is my mother’s favorite author, the inspiration for my first name. I do not consider myself an equal of Phileas Fogg, but we will soon have something in common with the fictional balloonist of globetrotting fame..”

They are given a firm clue of what is in store. For folks who have never been higher than the fourth floor of a big city building, the thought of ballooning is more than a stretch.

“I can see that some of you may be afraid of heights, but I have been told that it is the only way we are going to get out of here. Those of you who know you have a problem with heights, please come forward and we will match you with people who are not. Remember it is the only way we can get back to New Orleans.”

James and Abigail look at each other. Newly wed, they have much to learn about each other. This topic is one that has eluded those celebrating their golden anniversary.

“I have jumped from the loft in our biggest barn,” Abbey says proudly, speaking of her short term role as a tomboy.

 “I have a tree fort in the tallest oak on Hillside Estate.” James describes his prowess as a boys-boy.

Captain Longfellow describes the operation further. “The Army Air Corps, stationed at Fort Pickens… that is at Pensacola… are sailing twelve balloons from their aerial observation unit. They will begin arriving here in when wind conditions allow, needing a southeast quartering direction for optimum flying. Beside the balloonist, they hold six people. The flights will be spaced fifteen minutes apart. The crew will stay with the River Queen.

Age before beauty“The only bad news is that your baggage will have to wait for salvage operations. So make sure it is labeled and at the staging area at the rear of the ballroom.

“Lastly, as close as we can do it, we are going to evacuate according to the age of the individual or the average age of a family grouping. This is at my discretion–so ladies, please refrain from exaggerating your age–opposite to what you are used to.”

‘Well I never’, is the consensus common comment of women truly over 35, secretly hoping to pass for 45 or 50.

“That would place us on the last balloon,” laments the undeniably youthful Abigail. In the meantime, they have a ringside view of one of the most amazing rescues in the history of this low-lying country.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Phileas Fogg & Passepartout

Episode #108


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #92

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #92

… John Ferrell is one of those blessed by shade, thoroughly enjoying his trio of duties…

Wedding-001

The animals retreat to inactivity on days such as this, leaving humans as the only creatures dumb enough to risk dehydration and heat stroke.

But, luck can be credited for the number of doctors in attendance, enough to staff the clinic Mayo. The waiters and waitresses are instructed to encourage guests with pitchers filled with water and bobbing chunks of Love ice.

My Project 13-001The wedding pamphlets, designed to inform attendees of the day’s events and their sequences, as well as the ceremonial order and musical selections, are better served as fans, the flapping white papers looking like a flock of doves. The breeze, which is but a zephyr, is out of the southeast, not out of the west or south, as is the norm. At the very edge of the horizon, the one that the sun uses to begin its day has an odd tint to it. No one bothers to notice, caring only to be concerned about what is directly overhead.

There is shade on sight, albeit temporary shielding, the wedding alter and the tuneful string quartet; 100 year old trees cast a shadow over much of the rest. Either dark silhouette can be cut with a knife, so rich is the air.

John Ferrell is one of those blessed by shade, thoroughly enjoying his trio of duties:

– Glad handing greeter

– Father of the Bride

– Father of the Groom

Ferrell's Grocery-001

He is the most recognizable figure, here at his home, as he would be in the greater community due to his three stores. If you live in or near Tallahassee, you can hardly avoid shopping at a Ferrell’s Grocery.

Most folks have come to know and care for Agnes as well. She has grown up right before their very eyes. And as general manager of the chain, her presence is an expected and welcome sight.

So, it not surprising that this Ferrell pair stroll the festive grounds together. They provide for one another, though Agnes gleans more from the company. She really wants not to be caught alone, with her emotional vulnerability singularly exposed. Daddy loves her unconditionally, enjoys her company and will shield her whether he knows he is or not. They make a good team; kindred restless spirits.


Alpha Omega M.D.

Ferrell wedding invite-001

Episode #92


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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #89

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Alpha Omega M.D. – Episode #89

…This is me___Willy___is that you?” Willy handles the phone receiver like it is the mouth of a poisonous snake…

Sec. of Ag-001

“Phoebe darling could you round up Willy for me,” asks Herbert Love, making his bi-weekly call from Washington D.C. This couple had never spent any large blocks of time apart and every detail on each end is shared, as September 1900 approaches.

Herb has settled into his civil servant post quite nicely, making national agriculture a serious vocation. His broad-based experience in the “field of fields” has served him well and as an unexpected bonus, President William McKinley has become a close friend. Love is a McKinley kind of guy, a trusted resource whose counsel is sought in areas  that exceeds, surpassing his title of Under-Secretary of Agriculture.

Yet, despite success in his new world, the old one still requires his attention. To that end, he is learning to delegate responsibility. And just as he cannot be on both coasts at once, so must he assign someone to act in his stead.

This is me___Willy___is that you?” Willy handles the phone receiver like it is the mouth of a poisonous snake. Some inventions are intimidating. This talking box is one of them.

“Yes Willy, it is me, Herb. I am calling from our nation’s capitol.”

Loyal Campbells-001 “They got any good cigars there?”

“Only ours, my friend. As a matter of fact I have orders for ten cases of Loyal Campbells. There is lots of puffing and hot air goings on here and they appreciate not having to smoking that Carolina weed.” It is easy for Herbert to talk down the competition, now that he has had contact with many of them. “Everybody asks me: ‘Who is that man behind these beauts?’ and I tell them: ‘That is my cigar master and right hand man’.”

“Gosh, ya don’t havta be braggin’ on my sorry bones,” he says humbly.

“Brag, I will show you bragging. I will go so far as calling you my Operations Manager … for everything–the creamery, cash crops, of course the cigars.”

“You mean like a overseer?”

“Well, I would prefer to call it a foreman, someone to take my place, as long as they need me paycheck-001in Washington. I know you can do it, heck you have been doing it. And you will find we have doubled your pay.”

Herbert waits for a response. None forthcoming, he prompts by saying, “I know that two hundred dollars a month is not a fortune, but it will give you a chance to put some money aside, you know a savings account?.” Love perceives that Willy may be flabbergasted, on the receiving end of this one-sided conversation. “Anything new down on the farm?”


Alpha Omega M.D.

More Tim McGraw (For shits ‘n giggles)

Episode #89


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